IDC raises fourth quarter iPhone demand estimates by 7.6 percent

IDC has raised its fourth quarter 2015 (4Q15) iPhone numbers by 7.6 percent, based on continued consumer demand for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The research group’s market share forecast for iOS is expected to remain around 14-15 percent annually, with clear spikes around product launches. 

IDC says that, as the majority of Apple's core markets have transitioned into replacement markets, Apple's move to get into the iPhone trade-in space is not surprising. The possible challenge in 2-3 years' time could quite possibly be excess inventory in the developing markets that refurbished iPhones are sold into. However, the lead time to solve a problem of this nature doesn’t present any immediate concerns to IDC.

Android's market share is expected to grow slightly from 81 percent in 2015 to 82 percent over the forecast period, according to the research group. Despite numerous attempts by "alternative platforms" to enter the market, none have proved successful. IDC believes the proliferation of the core Android platform will continue with huge efforts being put forth by companies like Cyanogen and Xiaomi to differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

Despite all the effort Microsoft has put into the launch of Windows 10, IDC doesn’t expect Microsoft's share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years. In 2015, the research group expects the average selling price (ASP) of Windows Phones to be $148, which is $71 lower than Android's ASP of $219. 

This was brought about by the Microsoft/Nokia push into the low-end mass market. While this approach helped drive shipments up to 34.9 million units in 2014, IDC is forecasting a year-over-year decline of -10.2 percent in 2015, followed by further decline in 2016.